55-Year Reunion

  ̶̶  Back to the Beach

September 26, 2015

By the sea, by the sea, by the beautiful sea
          A Detailed Report
For those who weren't there
and those who were!
(And that about covers it!)

Presented to the class by 1960 Sailors Association Inc.                                           


Our fabulous 55-year reunion weekend began, as usual, when a group of early arrivals gathered informally for a cocktail mixer the night before to get re-acquainted at a delightful pub called Sutton Place Great American Bar & Grille in Long Beach. It is  housed in a wonderful, historical building that once was the Long Beach Public Library near the LIRR station on picturesque West Park Avenue.

And that night, for the first time ever, our beautiful, 1960 Sailors' satin banner (shown at left) was displayed in Long Beach.

After our "reunionators" spent Saturday on the beach or the beautifully restored boardwalk (following its total destruction in 2012 by Superstorm Sandy), or touring favorite spots back home in nearby Oceanside or Island Park, we hung our banner again in the beautifully renovated Long Beach Hotel (LBH), one block from that famous boardwalk as our main event began at 7 pm Saturday evening.

We were greeted and made to feel welcome by parking valets, food servers
and our DJ wearing traditional sailor hats in our honor.


We passed through the beautiful LBH bar area as we entered our designated party room. Instead of the traditional round tables for ten, we found that the room was set up with small tables and clusters of couches. Rather than the traditional sit-down dinner service or a buffet, we were served an incredible assortment of delicious pass-around hors d'oeuvres followed by what was called "mini-meals" of three different varieties, equally delicious, that were also passed around in seemingly unlimited quantities.


This party format, which we were told is quite trendy today among young people (after all, we are young people, right?) enabled our partygoers to move around the room at will, to sit down and eat, drink or just talk whenever and wherever they wanted. As we experienced, it was quite highly conducive to conversation. In fact, we were so busy "reunionating," that, unfortunately, almost no photos were taken. What little we have is mostly what was "mined" from the videos (made by classmate, Jeff Menton, a professional videographer). 


As always, Howie's welcoming address was central to our program, along with an introduction by his very dear and close friend of all these many years, Bob Rubin (both featured on our video).

Tom Nasca introduced our only faculty guest for the evening, Mary Williams Cifarelli (also in our videos). In addition to her teaching duties, Mary directed both of our dramatic and musical stage productions presented during our senior year, Teahouse of the August Moon and Bells Are Ringing. The night of our reunion, you'll see on the video that she gave us a critical review of Howie's reunion address. 


Our first video segment consists of a slideshow especially made for this reunion that featured our Sailors' fond memories and sentiments from our time together at OHS. It played, backed by appropriate music, as ambience as we met and greeted each other at the opening of our reunion celebration on Saturday evening.

Our last video segment consisted of another slideshow also made for this reunion that features images of the historic Long Beach boardwalk as it was in the 1950s when we grew up - because (of course) .


Immediately upon their arrival at our main celebration, each Sailor from our class was given a packet containing two slick booklets. The first was a program booklet made in the form of a special edition of our school newspaper, the Sider Press. In addition to our program for the evening, it contained congratulatory letters from Oceanside and Long Beach officials/ community leaders and messages to the class from classmates and teachers who were unable to join us for our reunion.

The second booklet distributed was a memorial photo album made in the form of a special edition of our 1960 yearbook, Spindrift - as Howie ended his welcoming address, we observed a moment of silence for those of us who have passed on.

If you missed it, you missed a very special event. All in all, everyone
loved it.


What our Sailors had to say about this reunion:

Notice how pervasive are the heartfelt sentiments expressed in the accolades we received afterwards (this, Sailors, is what makes all the hard work worthwhile):

  • We just want to tell you what a lovely evening it was last night. There was something to be said for the intimacy of the smaller group and smaller room. Everyone seemed closer to each other, talking, laughing, dancing. It was really fun. All your hard work paid off for our class. We are so fortunate to have you. We don't hear of any other reunions like ours. Congrats. - Sue Schlesinger and Bill Liebman

  • Another winner from you and your reunion committee! The 55th Reunion was, as per usual, excellent. Good venue choices with the Long Beach Hotel, and Friday night at Sutton Place. I certainly enjoyed the chance, once again, to catch up with memories and with classmates while I can still remember what and who they are (massive brain cell loss will, I hope, be postponed for a while longer). So, now, on to the 60th? - Dan Dawson

  • It was great seeing some old faces at the reunion. Almost everybody looks exactly the same as 55 years ago. Thanks to you and the entire committee. - Terry Brennan

  • Thank you again for all your hard work in continuing the Oceanside Class of 1960 Sailor spirit! We may have been fewer in number this time,  but we are still a spirited group. Ruth (Ryder) and I enjoyed seeing  and connecting with old friends, and it was nice to be able to spend quality time catching up. We appreciate all that you and the Reunion Committee do to keep our high school class connected. - Eileen Carlock

  • I thoroughly enjoyed the 55th celebration. As always, I was struck with what a congenial class we are, and found time to visit with just about everybody. The location was great; it was a pleasure to re-visit an area that I always associate with sunny days and good times. - Lloyd Becker

  • I want to thank you again for the bang-up job you and Susan did on arranging the reunion. I had a wonderful time and actually got to speak to people I hadn't seen since we graduated OHS. Don't know if it was the smaller group or that we are just getting older, but things didn't seem as clicquey as it did. - Betty Griffin

  • Wow! The reunion was wonderful! We owe it all to you! You did a fabulous job in organizing it and making all the necessary arrangements! Seeing so many classmates after so many years was terrific! Looking forward to our 60th! - Marjorie Shiff

  • We want to acknowledge you and Susan for your tireless efforts in planning the reunion and the website. Your dedication to and fondness for OHS is unmatched. Thank you, thank  you, thank you! - Nancy Koller and Jack Beaulieu

  • How great to be able to attend the wondrous 55-year reunion. I enjoyed seeing every one, and the delicious food made the evening even more special. Aloha from Hawaii - Diana Funaro

And my favorite (as is always, from this gracious lady):

  • Our 55th reunion was nostalgic by many measures. The sands in the hour glass cannot be reversed as the class of 1960 now together enters the Autumn of our lives. The Circle of Life is unrelenting. Therefore ,the intimate conversations of those fortunate enough to be together during our 55th reunion to celebrate our health and happy memories may feel it was the most rewarding and important of all our reunions. This reunion seemed full of love and kindness. Gone were the superficial measures of friendship of our youth. Genuine warmth and caring was the thread of our so very personal conversations as we retrieved our OHS memories from the Springtime of our lives. Your remarks, Howie, captured these sentiments while our quiet conversations during the evening will become jewels in our memory of our 55th reunion. I am grateful to be able to share such a meaningful occasion with those who choose to be together again. - Lynda D’Acunto

Our heartfelt thanks go out to all who wrote to express their appreciation.


A few of us extended the weekend festivities into Sunday morning by meeting for brunch at the Golden Reef Diner (on the site of the Oasis during our time) on Sunrise Highway in Rockville Centre. Saturday evening, Bob Rubin announced the venue and when asked where it was on Sunrise Highway, he responded (almost with a straight face), "between Baldwin and Lynbrook."



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